Pollution Research Paper

Vol. 35, Issue 1, 2016; Page No.(107-122 )

STATISTICAL ANALYSES OF WATER QUALITY AND ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE INDEX FOR THREE AQUATIC ENVIRONMENTS OVER THREE SEASONS

TANDRA MOHANTA AND SUDHA GOEL

Abstract

Water quality of river Hooghly, Kolkata (between Dakshineswar and Nazirgunj), river Kangsabati and groundwater in Kharagpur was assessed over three seasons - monsoon, winter and summer during the period 2012-2013. Water quality parameters and their relationship with antibiotic resistance index (ARI) were tested using various statistical methods like correlation analysis, cluster analysis and principal component analysis. River Hooghly is polluted by domestic, industrial, municipal and agricultural wastewater and flows through the metropolitan cities of Howrah and Kolkata. River Kangsabati and groundwater in Kharagpur served as controls since they are not affected by urbanization to the same extent as Kolkata. The water quality of river Hooghly was found to be moderately bad compared to untreated water and groundwater from Kharagpur based on the water quality index (WQI) calculated. Cadmium, iron and nickel were the heavy metals detected above the recommended permissible limit in Hooghly river water samples out of the nine heavy metals tested. Statistical analyses revealed a strong correlation between Ca2+ and Mg2+ (R = 0.97). Only one water quality parameter, sulphate, was found to correlate significantly with ARI (p<0.05). Sulphate is an important essential nutrient for bacterial growth and may have an important role to play in the spread of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Principal component analysis (PCA) of river Hooghly water quality data revealed eight PCs that accounted for 88.54 % of the total variation in water quality data while the first 2 PCs alone accounted for 53.8% of the variation in data. Cluster analysis (CA) divided all nine sampling locations on river Hooghly into two clusters - one cluster consisted of the northern-most, less polluted locations while the other cluster consisted of six downstream and more polluted locations.

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